Ukraine’s Prosecutor General announced on Wednesday that a 21-year-old Russian sergeant is the first member of the Russian armed forces to be tried for war crimes since the invasion of Ukraine. New York times†
The man is suspected of shooting an unarmed civilian on a bicycle on February 28, four days after the Russian invasion. The 62-year-old victim was left dead on the side of the road.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova released the results of the investigation conducted by the Ukrainian Security Service.
The suspected sergeant and four other soldiers were deserters of Ukrainian forces on February 28. They stole a car at gunpoint and drove to the village of Chubakivka in the Sumy region, about 200 miles east of Kyiv.
There he ordered the soldier to kill the civilian so that he would not report them. He shot the man in the head with a Kalashnikov rifle from the window of the car and killed him on the spot, a few dozen meters from his home.
The sergeant is in pretrial detention in Ukraine. He could face ten to fifteen years in prison. It was not clear how and when he was arrested. The historical trial date is also unknown.
Investigators collect evidence of war crimes
Ukrainian and international investigators have made huge efforts to gather evidence of possible war crimes in areas from which Russian forces have withdrawn.
Hundreds of bodies have been recovered for forensics, and United Nations officials are sending more resources to Ukrainian authorities to help prosecute mounting reports of rapes by Russian soldiers.
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